by Shelly Stokes, Founder and Creative Mentor
When I started my 30 Days of Design Magic, it became clear rather quickly that I needed two things:
- A way to keep track of all 30 designs and the associated exercises, and
- A place where I could make notes and doodle about possible follow-up designs.
I have been taking an online class from Sharon Boggon over at Pintangle.com about keeping a Studio Journal. I decided this was the perfect solution for my 30 Days designs.
Each day after I create my design, I make a bunch of copies, cut them up, and make a 9-patch version of the design. It us pretty big — 12” x 12” — so I take a photo with my iPhone and send it over to my computer.
Once it is on the computer, I do a couple of quick edits to “square it up” and shrink it down to about 500 pixels wide. That is small enough to print on a single sheet of paper. I print one copy at that size, and a second at 50% so I can see the designs in a smaller scale.
My 30 Days of Design Magic Sketchbook
To keep things orderly (which is NOT my strong suit!) I paste/tape everything into my “pages for the day,” leaving plenty of room for notes and doodles. Here are my pages:
On the first spread, I add my original Design Page.
On the second spread, I add the smaller version of the 9-patch and the full size 9-patch composite image.
The full size 9-patch is too big for my book, so I fold the bottom row up, then the right side in so that it fits in my sketchbook.
The pages look like this when the 9-patch is all tucked away.
Finally, I put a “mini” version of the 9-patch on the 3rd spread. I have not gone back and played with this design yet, but some of my pages are full of notes and ideas. I am glad I kept the extra space for each design. It is much easier than trying to go back and add more pages.
Sharon Boggon calls a book like this a Studio Journal. It is a working journal, not a piece of art. I am new to this practice, but I like it a lot. I find myself making notes about things I thought about on my morning walk — even the elusive ideas that pop into my head when I wake up in the morning.
I do not expect I will ever catch all of my stray ideas, but I can see that this will be a very useful tool. It is keeping my 30 Days adventure a whole lot more organized than my usual stack of piles. I will count that as a big step forward.
I have tons of boxes and folders with all sorts of ideas written or sketched on them. They wander off into worlds of their own, sometimes resurfacing months later, sometimes not at all. In general, not retrievable when I need them. I bought a blank journal more than a year ago, but never figured out how to use it to my advantage. Bingo! when I read your process. Thanks so much!
That’s great Barb! I’m so glad you found the idea useful. As I mentioned, this came from a class I have been taking with an artist from Australia — which makes me ever so thankful for the internet.
Laurie Clark says
Thank you so much for this way to keep things tidy. I sometimes feel as though I am drowning in a sea of paper and can rarely find the thing I am looking for when I need it. Since we are generating lots of designs here, this is one way to feel like I can keep things readily available
You are so welcome, Laurie. I’m so glad I took the class from Sharon B. I really have not had time to dig into most of the exercises in her class — I’ve been pretty tied up with the 30 Days group. But just the IDEA of keeping a studio journal was worth its weight in gold for me right now. 🙂